Photograph of the author (right) and her mother (left) by Christina Smith
Several years ago my mom decided to read the entire Book of Mormon each month for a year. When she told me her goal, I thought it was impressive, but I dismissed the idea pretty quickly. I remembered the multiple times I committed to memorize a scripture a day—it never lasted long. I thought her goal would meet the same fate. It didn’t. What I saw unfold over the next year taught me a number of valuable lessons about scripture study. Most important, the experience reaffirmed to me that my mother knew the Book of Mormon to be true.
Heavenly Father Helps Us Manage Our Time
From the moment my mother committed herself to her goal, she began praying that she would find the time to read 18 pages a day—every day for a year. Soon she was unable to sleep past 5:30 a.m. To some, that may not sound like a blessing, but it was exactly what she needed. She spent every dawn with the Book of Mormon and was finished before the busy day began.
We all know that time constraints often make scripture study seem impossible, but I learned from my mom’s experience that God will help make it possible.
Consistency Brings Continued Blessings
Even with the blessing of time to read the scriptures, it was a real challenge for my mom to read the necessary number of pages each day. Mom had to resist the temptation to use her early morning to get a jump start on other responsibilities. I think that because of her diligence, God continued to bless her with the ability to wake up early.
Gratitude for Scripture Will Inspire Our Study
The year 2005 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and many stakes invited members to do a special project to memorialize the life of the Prophet. My mom decided to copy the Book of Mormon by hand. She spent months doing it.
Halfway through her project, her stake held an event in which everyone displayed what they had done. The night before, my mom carefully wrapped the pages she had copied and took them to the stake center. She couldn’t bear to leave the pages there without her protection; only she knew the work and care that had gone into them.
She later told me that on that night she gained a greater appreciation for how the Prophet Joseph Smith must have felt about the priceless words that were under his protection.
Sharing Our Testimony of the Scriptures Will Improve Our Study
My mom’s experience with the Book of Mormon has given her the opportunity to share her testimony of the scriptures many times. People have been inspired by her example, including Primary children and young women—many of whom had never read the Book of Mormon before. She taught me that as she shared her testimony, her scripture study became more refreshed and profound.
I Know My Mother Knew It
The example of my mother has improved my personal study of the Book of Mormon. I’m profoundly grateful for her testimony. She said, “I love this book. … The teachings found within its pages can change hearts, build character, and can help you become what Heavenly Father desires you to become—like Him.”
I have seen those blessings in her life and felt them in mine. Each of her children now has a photocopy of her handwritten copy of the Book of Mormon. I cherish the opportunity to read those words in the writing of my mother. They will always be a reminder of the time she has spent with the scriptures and what I have learned through her diligence.